All the Tech We've Used to Intercept Every Kind Of Communication

Spy cameras are probably the most axiomatic gadgets when we talk about intelligence-gathering techniques. But intercepting and decoding messages is just as important as taking pictures. Here's a look at all the devices spies have used to tap into voice, mail, phone, radio, morse, electronic messages, and other signals. » 2/13/15 3:00pm 2/13/15 3:00pm

Fed Wiretappers Can't Keep Up With All These New Chat Apps

Wiretapping used to be straightforward. Potential drug lord? Bug his phone! But the proliferation of online chat options is making it hard for law enforcement officials and intelligence agents to carry out court-ordered wiretaps. » 7/28/14 12:52pm 7/28/14 12:52pm

The NSA Is Collecting Emails and Texts for Just Mentioning "Targets"

There's a story in the New York Times today that details how the NSA hasn't just been tracking communications to and from (potential) foreigners of interest—it's actually tracking all emails and text messages that potentially mention these targets. That dragnet just got a lot wider. This is the actualization of the… » 8/08/13 12:06pm 8/08/13 12:06pm

The Rise of the Surveillance State (As Predicted in 1967)

Uncle Sam might soon be spying on you with a vast, computerized network. At least that was the eerie prophecy of The Atlantic in 1967. » 6/17/13 5:35pm 6/17/13 5:35pm

What Is PRISM?

Last night, the Washington Post and Guardian dropped concurrent bombshell reports. Their subject was PRISM, a covert collaboration between the NSA, FBI, and nearly every tech company you rely on daily. PRISM has allowed the government unprecedented access to your personal information for at least the last six years.… » 6/07/13 10:10am 6/07/13 10:10am

Your Cell Phone Is Under More Surveillance Than Ever

United States law enforcement agencies are requesting user information such as "text messages, caller locations and other information" at an alarming rate—at least 1.3 million requests last year alone—according to cellular carriers. » 7/09/12 12:00pm 7/09/12 12:00pm

NSA Chief Denies Reports of Huge Domestic Spy Center

NSA chief General Keith Alexander faced tough - and funny - questions from Congress Tuesday stemming from Wired's story on the NSA's capabalities and warrantless wiretapping program. » 3/21/12 1:40pm 3/21/12 1:40pm

China Accused of Spying on Drivers Across Borders in Hong Kong

According to China publication Apple Times, the Chinese government has installed surveillance devices on up to 20,000 cars with dual China/Hong Kong plates, claiming the tags are just for inspection. However, they have the capability to pickup and transmit conversations. » 6/15/11 12:00am 6/15/11 12:00am

Feds to Telecoms: Stop Upgrading so We Can Wiretap More Easily

Current law mandates that telecoms allow the government to snoop on you when deemed necessary. But with blazing advances in what telecoms offer, the government is left behind. They want to catch up. Their solution? Tougher law. » 10/19/10 10:20am 10/19/10 10:20am

Why the Feds Want To Wiretap the Internet, and Why They Can't

Here's today's jarring news from the NY Times: federal law enforcement and national security officials want to force companies like Facebook, Skype, and BlackBerry to let them wiretap your accounts. » 9/27/10 12:11pm 9/27/10 12:11pm

Sprint to Humans: We Know Where You Are, and So Do the Police

In the last year alone, Sprint turned over users' GPS data to authorities 8 million times. While that number is misleadingly high—this could translate to under a thousand individual users—it's still terrifying. But wait, it gets even better! » 12/02/09 12:59pm 12/02/09 12:59pm

Obama Supports Warrantless Wiretapping, Just Like Bush

So much for change: Wired reports that Obama's administration is lining with Bush on supporting the warrantless-eavesdropping program, urging the courts to drop a case against it. Paraphrasing Stewart: It's only f*ck*ng day one. » 1/23/09 4:59pm 1/23/09 4:59pm

House Denies Warrantless Wiretapping Immunity For Telcos

In a textbook display of checks and balances, the House of Representatives defied President Bush and the Senate yesterday by passing their version of a surveillance bill without legal immunity for telcos. The bill passed by only 16 votes, far from the 2/3 majority needed to override Bush's inevitable veto. It looks… » 3/15/08 1:55pm 3/15/08 1:55pm

Whistleblower Says the Feds Are Spying on Your (Verizon) Mobile Phone…

Not sweating the NSA's warrantless wiretapping program 'cause you don't have a landline, just a mobile? Tell your glands to kick in again. A computer security consultant working for a wireless carrier—probably Verizon—stumbled upon a high-speed backdoor built into the carrier's network for the Feds to pull anything… » 3/05/08 10:00pm 3/05/08 10:00pm

President Bush: You Should Thank Telcos For Spying On You, You…

While many people who value their privacy got pretty pissed when they found out that companies such as AT&T were illegally tapping their phones for the NSA, President Bush doesn't see it that way. In fact, he thinks the wiretapping telcos are American heroes, and anyone who thinks differently is straight-up… » 3/05/08 10:55am 3/05/08 10:55am

NSA Gets the Best AT&T Coverage Around

Yes, this is real, and spectacular. The Billboard Liberation Front has launched an "improvement" campaign on AT&T billboards in the SF area "to promote and celebrate the innovative collaboration of these two global communications giants" with their massive warrantless domestic spying program (explained by a cute bear » 2/28/08 3:20pm 2/28/08 3:20pm

Snuggly the Security Bear Explains: Warrantless Wiretapping Is All…

If you're still confused about the whole warrantless domestic spying program that the telecoms colluded with the government on (which is being conveniently shuffled away from official scrutiny, forever), Snuggly the Security Bear by Mark Fiore sums it all up in the absolute cuddliest way possible. [Mark Fiore via … » 2/14/08 11:25pm 2/14/08 11:25pm

Last Chance to Save Our Privacy Rights from Warrantless Domestic Spying

While the Senate passed the bill giving telecoms like AT&T and Verizon a free pass on their collusion with government to warrentlessly wiretap American citizens, there's one last hope we might one day find out the scope and depth of the program. The House's version of the bill does not include a telecom immunity… » 2/14/08 8:14am 2/14/08 8:14am

Senate Gives Telcos Free Pass On Warrantless Domestic Spying Program

Joel at BBG writes in five precise words what it means that the Senate has just granted retroactive immunity to telcos (AT&T, Verizon and others) for participating in the government's warrantless wiretapping program that spied on American citizens: "We Lost. The Telcos Won." » 2/12/08 6:30pm 2/12/08 6:30pm

FBI Wiretaps Shut Down:The Feds Weren't Paying the Bills (and Other…

Here is a comforting thought for you. Apparently the FBI has routinely failed to pay telecom companies for providing phone and internet lines that they had been using for wiretaps and other super-secret surveillance. This has resulted in at least one company cutting a foreign intelligence wiretap until the bill is… » 1/10/08 6:57pm 1/10/08 6:57pm